This is a classic dessert that, despite what you see on TV shows, is quite easy to master! A good brûlée should be just set with a satisfying hard caramel top. Once you have mastered the vanilla version you can play with variations and flavour combinations: white chocolate and raspberry, espresso and Kahlua, chai…

600mls full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
½ cup sugar + extra for the tops
6 egg yolks (size 7)

Heat the milk and vanilla in a pan until just before it comes to the boil.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale then whisk in the warm milk.
Place 6 ramekins into an oven dish and divide the custard between the ramekins. Place in a deep roasting tray and pour boiling water halfway up the sides. Bake for 15–20 mins until just set with a wobbly centre. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs.

To serve, sprinkle some sugar on top of the custard (the more sugar the better the brûlée part) then caramelise with a blowtorch or briefly under a hot grill. Leave caramel to harden (a couple of minutes), then serve with a crisp biscuit like biscotti or thin shortbread.

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